Several of you have asked what's going on with R's elbow surgery. Well, things are moving slowly, much to our chagrin.
The experts who have looked at his case think that he has no other option besides the very new CUE surgery. The problem is getting things organized to have a CUE expert do the surgery. As of right now, our awesome local surgeon wants to team up with the originator of the surgery to fix R's elbow by doing CUE. Unfortunately, the current plan has that surgery happening around April 1, which is a long time from now, in dog time.
Our orthopedic surgeon is exploring whether anyone else can fly here and do the surgery with him sooner than that. We don't know the answer yet.
I do feel very lucky that we're able to provide such amazing care for R at all. We have pet health insurance which will cover some of it, and we live in an area where people take pet health care very seriously. Consequently, we have world class vets helping us.
In the meantime, we're waiting. R limps every day, almost all the time, and he's at the maximum doses of pain medicines. We're still letting him get a "moderate" amount of exercise, with permission from our elbow expert.
It's still far less exercise than R usually gets. That's a big part of why I've been doing nosework training with both dogs. It gives R some "mental exercise" which will hopefully help keep him happier while he can't do as much running as he wants.
We are working as hard as we can to put the pieces in place so that R can have a successful CUE surgery. CUE surgery essentially inserts new weight-bearing surfaces into the elbow. If it's successful, R should be able to run almost pain-free after a long recovery.
We want him to eventually return to his first love - galloping through the forest with the Runner.